IBC premiere for Stage Tec’s IP-based mixing console AVATUS with multi-touch screens
Stage Tec, the Berlin-based manufacturer of professional audio equipment, presents the new AVATUS IP mixing console at IBC for the first time. The new console features ground breaking technology with a contemporary look & feel. AVATUS differs from the previous Stage Tec consoles with three innovations: AVATUS offers an IP-based connection to the audio processing. Secondly, AVATUS 21 is equipped with 21" multi-touch screens for display and control functions. The third innovation is all about user-friendly operating philosophy. Stage Tec employs workflow-oriented operation in AVATUS, in which only the relevant, context-related functions are displayed on the touch screens.
‘We have developed our AVATUS mixing console concept to meet our customers' requirements for IP-based technology, open to standard protocols. In line with their wishes, the AVATUS is extremely flexible. Customisation of the user interface and its features has been greatly simplified, enabling AVATUS to be adapted individually to each customer’s requirements in the broadcast, theatre and live entertainment fields’, commented Dr. Helmut Jahne, managing director of Stage Tec.
AVATUS IP-based connections provide new possibilities for the development of infrastructures. The term “mixing console control surface” is completely redefined. Where previously modules were arranged relatively rigidly, in AVATUS each module is a network node. Each component recognises its position in the mixing console and is configured and supplied with parameters accordingly. The modules can be removed from the surface, freely configured and installed anywhere within the network at any location. This creates a distributed system, which enables remote productions.
The AVATUS control surface will consist of just three different types of cassette. There will no longer be a centre section cassette. This enables multiple users to operate a console from different locations.
The decentralised operating principle is supported by multi-touch screens, each of which allows access to all audio processing parameters and central functions. This, combined with a sophisticated touch-based operating concept, opens up new dimensions. A new UI/UX design has been developed for the multi-touch screens, which ensures convenient user operation. The web-based Remote UI allows for display and operation of parameters via a web browser, as is familiar from Stage Tec’s ON AIR Flex.
One new feature is the colour coding of functional units. It supports users and enables a fast and intuitive way of working. The colour coding, which is realised in each rotary encoder by means of LEDs, indicates the current function of the rotary encoder. The faders are also colour coded and give a quick overview of large projects.
AVATUS provides more than 800 input channels and 128 sum buses. The channel format width ranges from mono to 7.1. Features such as the de-esser, implemented as an audio channel module, loudness metering and the Stage Tec automixer are integrated into the console. AVATUS varies physically between 12 and 96 control strips. Like all Stage Tec consoles AVATUS is integrated into the NEXUS audio network and offers all interfaces which are supported by NEXUS. Thus, AVATUS provides the same excellent audio quality as the other Stage Tec mixing consoles.
AVATUS relies on standardised technologies and protocols. This increases controllability by and of external devices and their integration. Connectivity to and from other systems will be further enhanced by implementing the AES70 standard.
Based on these conceptual cornerstones, AVATUS, like its predecessors, will be further developed continuously. With its flexibility the new console has the potential to face future challenges. AVATUS continues the tradition of Stage TEC products and is backwards compatible. Users with an AURUS in a NEXUS audio network can make a gradual progression to AVATUS.
AVATUS is still in the pre-production model phase. The developers still have to navigate several pitfalls until it becomes as reliable as other Stage Tec products. The first production version of AVATUS will be available in 2018.
‘There is a period of upheaval in the industry. Just as in the transition from analogue to digital technology when the basic concepts of mixing consoles and control systems were changed completely, we now see this through IP networking and the development towards remote productions’, concludes Dr. Helmut Jahne. The near future will be exciting! ‘